Is soundproofing a closet for recording possible? In this post, I have shared the answers and strategies. I hope this helps.
One of the problems with living in an apartment is noise. It is either you are disturbed by your neighbors or you disturb your neighbors.
Minimizing noise means constraining your actions. If you are a person who loves singing, it is a big challenge for you.
The problem can be worse if you have a recording studio in your apartment unit. How can you sing and record your song without disturbing your neighbors? Likewise, how can you protect your recording from external noise?
The quick solution is to use a closet as a recording room. Yes, you read it right. A small closet will do for recording.
But how will you turn a small closet into a recording studio? The key is to apply some soundproofing materials.
Soundproofing a closet for recording only requires a few soundproofing materials and techniques. In this post, I will be sharing some of the cool and quick techniques to soundproofing a closet.
There are hundreds of materials you can use for this project. But in this guide, I’ll only be focusing on a few that I found effective.
Table of Contents
1. Remove the Racks if there’s Any
If you have a small closet to convert into a recording studio, the first step you should do first is to remove the racks in it if there’s any. Declutter the space to maximize it.
Provide enough space for the soundproofing materials you’ll be using later. Let go of those boxes, clothes, and racks.
If you have some built-in racks though, you don’t have to remove them. What you can do is to cut the soundproofing materials in size to fit with the space you want to soundproof.
2. Install Power Outlets
If you bring musical instruments inside, it will require power outlets to plug the instrument in. Thus, consider installing some of them to keep everything smooth and easy for later operations.
If installing an electrical outlet is not possible, you can then use an extension cord. But make sure that you keep the wiring safe. The best way to do this is by drilling a hole in the wall where the wiring goes through.
The reason why I suggest this technique is because if you just let the wire pass through the door, the door should remain open during the recording. This is not a good idea because the open door offers an opportunity for the noise to enter the closet.
3. Use Mass Loaded Vinyl to Soundproof the Closet
When it comes to soundproofing a closet for recording, the Mass Loaded Vinyl (click here to see this material on Amazon) is one of the most effective soundproofing materials.
What I like the most about MLV is its thickness. It is heavy and can be easily installed on the surface you want to soundproof.
The MLV is perfect for a thin closet because it provides an extra layer of thickness and mass. If done properly, you can have a soundproofed recording closet.
If you have a closet ready to soundproof, the first thing you’ll be doing is to make accurate measurements on the sides you want to soundproof. Then, after everything is measured, cut the material according to the dimensions based on the measurement you previously did.
What you can do really quickly is to spray adhesive to the material to make it stick to the surface you want to soundproof. Alternatively, you can use screws or nails for the entire process. However, I prefer using a Green Glue (click here to check this glue on Amazon). I found this material super helpful as far as soundproofing goes.
For the best result, make sure that you applied the vinyl on all sides of the closet. Seal all the gaps that could potentially jeopardize the soundproofing project.
Using the MLV alone, you can have a soundproofed recording closet. It does not only block the outside noise but also it prevents the sound from echoing in the room. This makes this soundproofing material the best.
However, if you don’t like this material, I have another recommended material that will make your soundproofing project successful.
Like other industrial materials though, soundproofing materials that I mentioned here could also have an industrial smell that you might not like. The smell tends to remain for a couple of days until its totally gone.
If you have health issues, you might want to get rid of the smell. The best solution is to keep the soundproof closet open for several days before installing other recording equipment.
4. Use Moving Blankets
Aside from mass loaded vinyl that I mentioned above, the other effective material for soundproofing a closet for recording is the moving blanket.
And when it comes to moving blankets, what I found the most effective is Supreme Mover (click here to see this blanket on Amazon).
Moving blankets though are not specifically designed for soundproofing. However, their thickness and density make this material capable of deadening the sound. The thicker the blanket, the more effective it is.
You can use other blankets if you want as long as the materials are thick enough to combat sound. For thinner and lighter blankets, it is a good idea to have multiple layers of blankets to achieve a more successful result.
Soundproofing a closet for recording using moving blankets follows a similar process to using a mass loaded vinyl. Of course, making an accurate measurement is the thing you need to consider.
Once the material is to cut into pieces, you can start installing it by using a screw or nail stick the pieces onto the walls of the closet you want to soundproof.
The expenses may depend on the size of the closet and the blanket you’ll be using. In my experience, $100 can be enough for a smaller closet. But of course, this amount may not be applicable across soundproofing situations.
5. Use Acoustic Foam Panels
My next recommended material is the Acoustic Foam Panel (click here to check this material on Amazon). Acoustic Foam Panels are very good at preventing the sound from bouncing back and forth in the room. The best part is its affordability. If you have a limited budget, going with this material is a good idea.
However, if you have been doing a soundproofing project for a while, you might have already known that this material is not very good at soundproofing. Unlike the MLV, acoustic foam panels are lighter and less dense. Thus, their ability to combat sound is minimal.
But this does not mean that acoustic panels are not helpful. If implemented properly, you can soundproof a closet for recording. My advice is to install this material on the wall or on the top of the MLV creating another layer of protection against sound.
If your very purpose is to eliminate echo in the recording studio, this material is a perfect one. It is designed for this purpose, not for soundproofing.
Acoustic panels are also easy to install. With the help of a spray adhesive, you can easily stick the material to the wall or other surfaces.
As mentioned, this material is also great for a small budget. Another great thing is that it comes in different color choices. You can pick one that will flawlessly go with the existing color of the interior.
6. Cover the Floor with A Soft Mat or Carpet
Soundproofing a closet for recording involves not only applying soundproofing materials on the wall but also on the floor.
As you know, the hard floor creates a lot of sound echoes resulting in the bad recording. Fortunately, this is easy to fix. The best thing you can do is to use a soft mat or carpet on the floor to prevent the sound from echoing.
If you don’t have a carpet, you can use a thick rug for this. Anything made of fabric will do. The thicker the material is the more effective it is in deadening the sound. Make sure to cover the whole floor for better results. Don’t leave a room for the sound to bounce off the floor.
7. Hang a Noise Blocking Curtain on the Closet Door
Now that you have soundproofed the walls and floor of the closet, you are about to have a perfect closet for recording.
But it is not done yet. The door of the closet needs to be soundproofed too. The quick and easy way to do this is by using a Noise Blocking Curtain (click here to see this curtain on Amazon).
For best results, choose the one is dense and thick enough. Just hang the curtain on the curtain rod above the door.
Curtains like these are affordable and easy to implement. You can buy these curtains for under $100. And because these curtains come in different colors, you can choose the perfect color for your closet.
8. Seal the Cracks and Gaps in the Door
Another thing you should consider is the cracks and gaps in the door of the closet. Cracks of any size could potentially jeopardize the whole project. They are weak spots where the unwanted noise could pass through.
To do this, you just need an inexpensive Foam Tape (click here to see this tape on Amazon). It is self-adhesive and therefore easy to cut according to the dimensions you want.
You can also use this tape on door frames for better results. If applied correctly, this can make the project more successful.
9. Put Bass Traps on the Corners
So far we have covered the wall, the door, and the floor of the closet. The closet is now almost ready for recording. But if you want to bring closet to the next level, there is one more thing I want to share with you – soundproof the corner of the closet.
This is not often talked about in many soundproofing guides online. But soundproofing corners of the closet can make a huge difference.
So, how can you soundproof the corners of the closet? Well, the easiest and the most inexpensive way to do is by using Bass Traps (click here to see this product on Amazon).
These materials are designed to absorb sound waves way better than regular acoustic panels. With its design, you can easily hang bass traps on the corner of the room. It is a great material to really prevent the sound from echoing.
Is your budget limited? No problem. Bass traps are affordable and require no technical skills to install them.
For best results, place these materials on the high corners of the closet.
10. Best Alternative to Closet: Portable Vocal Booth
All the techniques share above are only feasible if you have an existing closet. But if you don’t have one and you want to have a small space for recording, you can buy a Portable Vocal Booth (click here to see this booth on Amazon).
This quick solution is not for everyone though. This is because the portable vocal booth is a little bit expensive. In fact, this is the most expensive of all the materials I’ve shared here.
But if you really want to have a portable singing booth, this thing is perfect. It is made of heavy blankets and other soundproofing materials for best echo-free acoustics.
However, the booth is not completely soundproofed so you cannot expect a perfect result. This is because the booth is not dense enough to counter outside noise.
What I like the most about the booth is that it is super easy and quick to assemble and requires no tools to do so. And it is portable. You can easily carry it in the car wherever you want to go. If you are traveling this booth is perfect.
The only drawback I have with this booth is its size. With its 3X3 walk-in size, it can only accommodate one person at a time. So if you have many musical instruments for singing or recording, it will be a challenge. But for regular singing, it is definitely enough.
The other thing that is missing with this booth is the floor. If you want to place the booth on the hard floor, there’s a high chance for the sound to bounce off and creates echoes. So I recommend that you put rug or carpet on the floor to keep the quality of the sound intact.
But again, the portable vocal booth is perfect for those who are looking for quick singing practice space. You don’t need to convert a room or closet. And the best part, no soundproofing needed.
11. Gather Your Equipment
After making sure that the closet is soundproofed, you can now place all your desired musical instruments inside. Obviously, you need a microphone, mic stand, pop shield, XLR cable, stool, and headphones. These are the common equipment.
Run a test for all the equipment. If you are happy with the result, then you are good to go.
Final Word on Soundproofing a Closet for Recording
When it comes to soundproofing a closet, there are hundreds of ways. Really, the key here is creativity. The more creative you are the more successful the result.
The techniques and tips I shared here are some of the basics. You’ll learn more as you progress in your project.
I hope that I have helped you figure out how to soundproof your closet for recording. To learn more about soundproofing, you can visit my Soundproofing Guide.